Cape Town - A Bonteheuwel woman is being questioned by police after a dead foetus was discovered on her property. Acting on a tip-off, police cordoned off the house and dug up a section of the front yard.

They uncovered the body of a baby, wrapped in plastic packets. Neighbours allege that the father buried the body around a week ago.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander said a man and a woman, believed to be the baby’s parents, had been questioned but no arrests had been made.

Police have enlisted the assistance of the Department of Health in the investigation.

“Our forensic pathologists will examine the body to determine its age, when it died, the cause of death and whether it was a baby or a foetus,” said Mark van der Heever, spokesman for the department.

“We will then hand over the report to SAPS, who would be able to use it to further the investigation or as evidence.”

Neighbours in Juniper Street reacted angrily to the news of the discovery of the body.

They started “attacking” the home after police left, a witness told the Cape Argus.

Rumours were also circulating that up to four bodies had been buried in the garden. Filander said he had taken note of these rumours, but stressed that police were only investigating the discovery of one body.

* A 2010 survey by Child Welfare found that 500 babies had been abandoned in the first 10 months of that year. It is mostly young mothers who abandon their babies, the report found.

At the time, Niresh Ramklass, executive head of Child Welfare Cape Town, gave five main reasons why babies were abandoned:

“Teen pregnancies, drugs, rape, poverty and women expecting foreigners’ babies. If the mother has a child with a foreigner, it sometimes happens that the community rejects her and the child.”

Cape Argus